My foot was still sore on Monday so I went to the gym, instead of running. It was a good hour although children from the nearby school arrived for a pretty chaotic session.
In the afternoon I got a call from the garage to tell me that the car had passed its MOT. It had failed on the emissions test and (surprisingly) the new catalytic converter hadn’t solved the problem – which left me wondering if it was destined for the great car park in the sky. However, a couple of mis-functioning glow plugs had, eventually, been diagnosed and the plugs and a new wiring harness injector (whatever that might be) fixed it in the twinkling of … 11 days and a few hundred pounds.
After a new timing belt earlier in the year (at nearly 130,000 miles) I’m now in the typical quandary of whether I should keep it or get rid of it while the going is good. I know something else will go wrong and I’ll then be wondering whether to throw good money after bad.
My foot had been improving all day so I decided on a gentle run (3.7km) to collect the car. Without enormous enthusiasm I went to book the swim doctor session in the evening but, apparently, no substitute had been found for the usual teacher so I had no choice but to put my feet up for the evening. What a shame!
Tuesday’s weather was dismal, I did paperwork and could raise enthusiasm for nothing more than a session on the turbo in the late afternoon. Just 30 minutes but a little faster than recent efforts at 29.4kph (18.26mph).
In the evening I got a call from a neighbour in Bournemouth to say that a section of our fence was looking rather worse for wear thanks to some very high winds. No great surprise as I have already bodged repairs twice but when I got there on Wednesday it turned out to be a different fence post that had snapped. I managed another bodge but I think this is nature’s way of telling me that the thing needs to be repaired properly.
I took my kit but it was still blowing a gale and by the time I’d cut up a load of the branches I’ve chopped off over the years – I did three trips to the dump (not quite finishing the job) so running was a very unattractive proposition. After a wet drive home I was beyond any exercise so I had the joy of working on all the family tax returns.
I got straight into running kit on Thursday morning but when I looked out it was raining heavily so I demonstrated my total lack of commitment and headed to the gym instead. A good hour, except for being descended upon by another class from the school – I do need to learn the times for their gym attendance. I went to a funeral in the afternoon, supporting my wife who is a friend of the deceased’s daughter.
With the bike shop in abeyance, pending the availability of the new premises, I ran on Friday morning. The Garmin recorded 7km at @5:21/km. I planted some new hedging and prepared for the concert in the evening.
As it was the ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ tour, it was no surprise that the music came from that album (luckily I really like it) … not a single ‘Dylan classic’ on the playlist. Having been a fan for over 50 years, this was my first (and probably only) chance to see him live – on the couple of occasions he stepped away from the piano, he looked very frail but there again, he is 81.
How to describe it? Just the great man and 5 backing musicians; no staging; no light show or video; no support act; not a single backing vocal; no interval, just a few minutes short of 2 hours played straight through; no showmanship; no audience engagement (until a short half-hearted bit at the end).
All very much on Bob Dylan’s terms … and it was magnificent! I was, strangely, quite emotional.
Afterwards we drove to London. I went to our older son’s place on Saturday and painted skirting boards. We’re making good progress. I took running kit but on Sunday it was raining on a Biblical scale. I believe Noah was Googling to find out the length of a cubit in centimetres*. We drove back home and I did the turbo in the early evening – 30 minutes for 13.94km (8.6 miles) – and I’ve hurt my foot again.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: The eye never forgets what the heart has seen
2. BBC News website: Mutiny over the Bounty
Mars’ ‘Celebration’ tubs contain a range of mini versions of their chocolate bars. A survey of people aged between 18 and 65 suggested that 18% would feel irritated to find only Bounty bars were left in a tub, while 58% believed it would lead to a family argument. A limited run of “No Bounty” tubs will go on sale at 40 Tesco stores in the run-up to Christmas.
Polling suggested the sweet is popular with older consumers, with 38% of over-55s choosing it as their preferred bar.
3. BBC News website: Solar farms in space?
Work is going on in various parts of the world to develop a plan to harvest solar energy from space and beam it down to Earth using microwaves. The solar energy collected by the satellites would be converted into high frequency radio waves and beamed to a rectifying antenna on Earth, which would convert the radio waves into electricity.
Each satellite could deliver around 2GW of power into the grid, comparable in power output to a nuclear power station. It could be happening as soon as 2035 and, in theory, the approach could supply all of the world’s energy needs by 2050.
4. BBC News website: Oiling the wheels (and greasing the palms) of the oil industry
A UK subsidiary of mining giant Glencore has been ordered to pay more than £275m, in fines and confiscation, for bribing officials in African countries to get access to oil. The company paid $26m (£23m) to officials of firms in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast between 2011 and 2016. Prosecutors said employees and agents used private jets to transfer cash to pay the bribes.
In May, the firm agreed to a $1.1bn (£900m) settlement in the US over a scheme to bribe officials in seven countries during the course of a decade.
I love the mention of the private jets – as if that makes it worse
5. BBC News website: Nick Kyrgios settles legal case with spectator
Kyrgios, the world number 22, was competing at Wimbledon in his first Grand Slam final when he complained to the umpire about a fan, saying she looked “like she has had about 700 drinks”. The fan instructed solicitors to bring defamation proceedings.
Kyrgios has now apologised for the comment and is donating £20,000 to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, a charity chosen by the fan.